The “You Will Be Found” College Essay Writing Challenge
Inspired by the Tony® and Grammy® Award-winning Dear Evan Hansen

Recognizing excellence in storytelling.

Student writer of winning essay to receive $10,000 scholarship
from sponsor Stacey Mindich, Lead Producer


The “You Will Be Found” College Essay Challenge is open to all 11th and 12th grade students attending a public, private, and charter high school or homeschool equivalent in the United States and American Territories during the 2020-2021 academic year. Challenge open to US residents only. Presented in partnership with the Broadway and National Tour productions of Dear Evan Hansen, the program recognizes excellence in storytelling and promotes student engagement with the production.


Dear Evan Hansen, at its core, is a story about connection. During the past year, connection has never been more integral to our daily lives, yet we find ourselves in a moment where it requires more creativity than ever to maintain. In your essay, describe how you have managed to ensure those around you were a little less alone in recent months – or, alternatively, a moment where you yourself have found comfort in connection.

College application-style essay submissions (no more than 650 words) should be specific, have a clear narrative arc, and adhere to the theatre of the challenge.


Dear Evan Hansen

Dear Evan Hansen is a deeply personal and profoundly contemporary Broadway phenomenon. Evan Hansen is about to get the one thing he’s always wanted: a chance to finally fit in. “You Will Be Found” is the Act One-closing anthem written by composers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. To learn more about Dear Evan Hansen, please visit


Visit Gotham Writers’ official contest page by following this link to enroll in the “You Will be Found” College Essay Writing Challenge.



Entries must be received no later than 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time, Friday, April 5, 2021


The judges will evaluate entries for originality, quality of the writing, narrative, clarity, grammar, and spelling.


Entries will be read and evaluated by a judging panel comprised of college-essay coaching, creative writing, and theatrical professionals.

This year’s judges to be announced.


The winning student will be notified no later than Friday, May 7, 2021. The Challenge prize includes:

  • $10,000 cash scholarship to the college or educational institution of choice
  • Scholarship to Gotham Writers Creative Writing class (value from $309 to $350)
  • Recognition of the winner on Dear Evan Hansen social channels

Additional regional prizes may also be awarded.


The Broadway Education Alliance and Gotham Writers are presenting the “You Will Be Found” Challenge to recognize excellence in storytelling and promote student engagement with Broadway.

For more information on the sponsors, visit: The Broadway Education Alliance and  Gotham Writers Workshop


If you have a question about the program, please contact Susan Lee,